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  • Student Conduct Procedures

Student Conduct Procedures

 
1. Complaint
Any member of the University community may initiate a complaint regarding a student by filing a report with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If there are grounds for conduct action, the student will be notified by letter of the alleged incident, time, date, and location of the conduct meeting. Student Conduct and Community Standards is the final decision maker in concluding if Conduct Code charges are warranted. As stated in the student’s notice, failing to attend or re-schedule will be treated as if the student is not contesting the charges, and a decision will be made based upon the information received. At times, Student Conduct and Community Standards will issue a decision letter for minor infractions without a formal meeting. The student will have the opportunity to discuss such decision.
 
2. Notice
The student will receive an explanation of the incident and an explanation of the specific charge statement. This will serve as formal notification of the charges, and will outline various resolution options, and the student’s procedural rights.
 
3. Student Response Form
Students responding to an alleged violation of the University Conduct Code have the choice to submit a Student Response Form. This form, available to students at the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, provides an opportunity for the student to put in writing a personal account of the incident. The information contained within the Student Response Form is then taken into consideration at the proceedings.
 
4. Student Conduct Meeting
During the Conduct Meeting the student will be encouraged to discuss and review the charges regarding alleged behavior. The student may ask questions regarding the charges, the conduct process as well as the possible outcomes of the meeting. During the Conduct Meeting, the student charged will have the right to choose between the following options (with the consensus of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards):
 
A. Accepting responsibility for one’s actions, and verifying that the charges issued are correct. If this option is chosen, the student requests that the situation be resolved through an Administrative Meeting. (See: Decision Making Bodies Regarding Student Conduct.); or,
 
B. Deny responsibility for the charges, and request an administrative hearing officer to review the case or complete an Administrative Meeting at that time. (See: Decision Making Bodies Regarding Student Conduct.); or,
 
C. If the outcome of the alleged violation could result in a sanction of suspension or expulsion from the University, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards shall prepare and present to the respondent a written notice of the charges and may give the student the option of selecting, with the consensus of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, their case being heard by:
 
1. University Disciplinary Committee (UDC)
2. University Hearing (UH)
At times the University may select not to give the student an option and send the case to either a UDC or UH. The notification will be given at least two calendar days prior to the hearing. (See: Decision Making Bodies Regarding Student Conduct.);
 
D. Additionally, in a case of alleged violation of the Conduct Code, the Vice President of Student Life or designee may remove a case from the University’s conduct system, whenever, in the VPSL’s discretion, such removal is believed to be in the best interest of the responding student or the University community. In the event of such removal, the VPSL shall have the sole and unreviewable discretion to conduct hearings, if any, upon notice, and impose such sanctions deemed appropriate.

 

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Rights of a Responding Student

With respect to an initial Hearing before an Administrative Hearing Officer, UDC, or UH the following rights will be afforded to a responding student. Please see the Sexual Misconduct/Gender-Based Misconduct section of this Handbook for additional procedures.
 
1. Written notification of charges, with a brief specification thereof, with the date (approximate if necessary) and place of the alleged violation, and the date, time, and place of the Formal Hearing.
 
2. A copy of the Administrative Hearing, UH, or UDC agenda. This agenda will be included with the notice of charges.
 
3. Reasonable time to prepare the case after receiving notice of the charge. Normally the Hearing will be held no earlier than two days and no later than seven days from the date of notice. UDC cases will be held as soon as possible.
 
4. The right to be present and the opportunity to be heard at this Hearing. Whether or not the student exercises this right, the Hearing will be held and the student is bound by the decision rendered.
 
5. The right to present information and witnesses on the student’s behalf. Witnesses may not be disruptive in any manner; otherwise, the Hearing Officer, UDC chairperson, or UDC board may dismiss them from the Hearing. All witnesses names and documents must be provided to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at least two business days prior to the hearing.
 
Upon request, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will also provide access to witnesses names and documents two business days prior to the hearing of the responding student. However, in some cases, because of the sensitivity of the violation, the University may choose not to release the name of a witness prior to the hearing. In such cases, the University will make every effort to provide access to statements to assist the responding student in preparation.

 

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Victim Rights

The following rights apply to the reporting student in the student conduct proceedings. These rights must follow the same format spelled out for the responding student as listed under the “Conduct System” of this handbook. Please refer to the Sexual Misconduct/Gender-Based Misconduct section of the student handbook for more information.
 
• Right to submit a victim impact statement that details the alleged consequences experienced by the victim.
 
• Right to have a personal advisor accompany him/her during the disciplinary hearing process.
 
• Right to request on-campus housing relocation (based on available space), academic accommodations, or other steps to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity to the responding party, when such contact is likely to place the reporting victim in danger of bodily injury and/or cause the victim severe emotional distress.
 
• Right to be informed of the outcome of the hearing upon request.

 

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Parental or Legal Guardian Consultation

Pursuant to the 1998 Congressional revisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Roger Williams University has the option to, and generally will, inform a parent or guardian of any student who is under the age of 21 or is financially dependent (as defined by the IRS), of any alcohol or other drug violations relative to the Code.
 
The University may choose to inform the parent or guardian of other types of incidents that involve violations or that may be life threatening or harmful to the student’s (or other’s) health. Roger Williams University will assume all undergraduate students are financially dependent and therefore, where allowed by law and University policy, notify parents or guardians of violations of the Code, especially substance abuse violations. A student may declare financial independence by contacting Student Life and providing the appropriate documents.
 
Parental notification will either take the form of a written letter or phone call, predicated upon the seriousness of the violation and/or the urgency of the situation. The University believes that clear, effective lines of communication between the school, parents, and student will assist us all in resolving issues of inappropriate behavior. We encourage parents and students to openly discuss these issues with one another so better understanding may exist throughout the school year.

 

 

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Confidentiality

All records relating to conduct are considered confidential. Access to such records shall be granted only when permitted by law and/or with permission from the student. The University reserves the right to be the final arbiter in releasing confidential files. Any and all types of conduct meetings are closed to the University community and to the public.
 
Records of conduct may be destroyed by the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, or designee, two years after a student graduates or withdraws from the University.
 
In the case of conduct proceedings, a responding student’s outcome and sanction(s) may be verbally or in writing shared with the complainant(s) or victim(s).
 
Nothing contained above shall prevent the publication from time to time of statistics relating to and summaries of disciplinary proceedings, provided that the name(s) of the party(ies) involved is (are) deleted (except when permitted by law).
 
Nothing contained above shall prevent the disclosure of Conduct Code violations involving the responding student to the formal Hearing bodies or the general public when permitted by law.
 
Nothing contained above shall prevent the imposition of a fine, attached onto the student’s Bursar Account, from the University, if such sanction has been invoked.
 
The conduct histories of applicants to Study Abroad programs are taken into consideration during the application process. Students who participate in a co curricular activity may jeopardize their status in that program by receiving a conduct sanction(s). A co-curricular activity includes, but is not limited to: intercollegiate athletics, club sports, intramurals, student organizations, and student leadership positions (e.g., resident assistants, orientation advisors, etc.). A student’s conduct record and/or conduct may be shared with other University staff members on a need-to-know basis.

 

 

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Attorneys & Advisors

A responding student and/or reporting student (when permitted) may elect to be accompanied and counseled by an advisor at a University or University Disciplinary Committee hearing. The advisor must be a member of the Roger Williams University community, excluding all those who are attorneys, have received a law degree, or who are enrolled in law school except those employed by the Division of Student Life.
 
In matters involving alleged dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, students are entitled to the same opportunity to have an advisor of their choice during any phase of the process. Students who are witnesses to the incident or are also involved in the same student matter cannot serve as advisors.
 
The advisor must be preapproved by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. At hearings where criminal charges are also pending, an attorney may accompany and counsel the responding student, provided that notice of at least two business days be given to the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards, or designee, of an attorney’s representation.
 
In either case, neither an attorney nor a lay advisor shall be allowed to examine witnesses, object to testimony or procedure or to present arguments, and their role shall be limited to quietly and unobtrusively advising only the responding student in whispers or by written note. Any conduct of an attorney or advisor in violation of these conditions in the opinion of the Hearing Officer or UDC chairperson may result in the immediate removal of that attorney or advisor, and the continuation of the hearing without the presence of that attorney or advisor.
 
Further, parents or guardians of a student, regardless of their relationship with the University, are not permitted to be present at any Hearing unless serving as an advisor in matters involving dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
 
In matters where the responding student and/or reporting student is entitled to and elects to be accompanied and counseled by an attorney, any other party to the case, including the University shall also be entitled to be counseled by an attorney who shall likewise be restricted to advising in whispers or by written note.
 
 

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Legal Assistance

If you are arrested and cannot afford an attorney, you may ask the court to appoint an attorney for you. If you are in a position of being able to pay for a lawyer and would like a referral, you may contact the Rhode Island Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service, who may be able to direct you to an attorney who concentrates in the problem area. Go to: https://www.ribar.com/For%20the%20Public/FindingAndChoosingALawyer.aspx
or phone (401) 421-7799.

 

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